ReMix:Sonic the Hedgehog 2 "Sonic the Chemist" 2:37

By Neon X

Arranging the music of one song...

"Chemical Plant Zone"

Primary Game: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega , 1992, GEN), music by Masato Nakamura

Posted 2024-01-25, evaluated by the judges panel

I've got bronchitis (BOOOO!), so somebody PLEASE get me some chemicals! I don't have a fever or a chill, so no Dr. Mario needed. That said, I've gotta be thankful for the arrival of Neon X's funky electro glow-up of Sonic 2's "Chemical Plant Zone", clearly the cure for what ails me! :-) Though Neon X had played Sonic 1, it turns out he was brand new to Sonic 2:

"Since I'm almost a pure Nintendo player, the Sega world is kind of new, except for Sonic, of course. But I never really played anything else from Sonic than the very first game, so Sonic 2 is new in every way for me. I was very surprised by the soundtrack, every song has so much potential! And there were some songs I just couldn't let go of, "Chemical Plant" was one of them. And I will grab more for sure!

I would say this one goes under blues, funk, maybe fusion of some kind, and I really took advantage of those genres by tweaking my synthesizers to sound like instruments used regularly in those genres. Dry, fast, max attack, not much effects except for the lead with some delay, and the bass with a heavy chorus effect (just like some of the 80s synth basses which I love).

I wanted the remix to be very recognizeable from the original in many parts, but with some enhanced harmonies and fills from new composed lines. And then a completely new section - I'm not sure how I came up with it, it often just starts with one chord off from the original and then my head is spinning loose with countless ideas of which I just grab one and write down. I like to give all songs something new and refreshing. :) Especially if I can come up with variations of the original theme.

For some reason I took some inspiration from Dream Theater starting at 1:22 - I think I would refer to it as an John Petrucci part where all things calms down, the tempo goes down to half, and there are these extended tones from his singing guitar playing a beautiful melodic solo, maybe along in harmony with Jordan Rudess's wizard-like keyboard play. The chords kind of follows how Petrucci would have wrote them too.

Overall, I just loved working on this song, the original is so catchy and fun. Really love this style and tried to extend it as much as I could without trashing the original too much.

I already got suggestions on other Sonic themes, but would love to have some more. And, if you know any more songs in this particular style, I would be very interested in hearing them. I need to see those Sonic movies ASAP, haven't even catched the first one. I guess it's time I watch them both."

For some of us gaming oldheads, it can be a surprise when someone says they don't know a segment of gaming very well. But we can't criticize anyone for being late to the party, only welcome them with open arms when they get there! I appreciated Neon X's original section at 1:08 where the initial writing reminded me of Shadow Man's theme from Mega Man 3, never a bad thing! Judge DarkSim's play-by-play vote eloquently rattled off strength after strength:

"Love this source. You've got some strong competition remixing this one - PrototypeRaptor's Chemixtrixx is still imo one of the best remixes on the site (damn, it's 12 years old now too!).

Instrumentation and sound design is very similar to the source. Plenty of original material in here though to differentiate it from the other Chemical Plant mixes out there. The section from 1:10-1:44 was really cool, and I loved that it went exactly where I expected it to at 1:45. A trademark Neon X solo from 2:05-2:18 again ends as I was hoping it would, circling back to the source nicely. 1:45 and 2:18 are two great payoffs, when you transition back to the source from your original material.

There are a lot of interesting harmonies and changes in chord progression at play here. Right out of the gate, there's the descending bass and reharmonisation of the synth layered on top. It's perhaps because it's such a familiar source that it might sound jarring, but to my ear it doesn't sound bad at all. The dodgiest harmonies for me were at 1:18, with the synth leads, but as it's during a solo you can get away with it.

Ending was a little weak, but no real issue there.

Overall I'd say this is a fine remix, taking the familiar instrumentation of the source and getting creative with the harmonies to create something wholly recognisable yet fresh in its approach."

The ending's resolution could have been fleshed out more, sure, but there's much more on the good side of the seesaw, as co-signed by judge Emunator, who said "This sounds sonically (pun intended) similar to the source material in terms of writing and sound design, but the reharmonizations and additional melodic licks give it enough spice to slide over the bar for me!" So slide on over, why don't ya, and check out another smooth one from Neon X that keeps things familiar while not being afraid to diverge with cool original sections as well as effective ornamentations to supplement & personalize the Chemical Plant theme!



Latest 3 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
JH Sounds
on 2024-01-26 16:19:45

In my mind, this is what a ReMix is and should aim to be conceptually. It reminds me of what made the original so cool, but opens up a side door to imagine what the wider compositional universe would be like.

on 2024-01-26 13:47:50

This isn't what springs to mind when I think of synthwave but it's still an awesome electronica tune ?

on 2024-01-25 12:23:18
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega , 1992, GEN)
Music by Masato Nakamura
"Chemical Plant Zone"

Tags (8)

Time > 4/4 Time Signature

File Information

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